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Mr. Darcy opens up about love, life and internet dating...

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Mr. Darcy opens up about love, life and internet dating...

They say that the best characters in literature are timeless. To put this idea to the test, I’m conducting an exhaustive series of interviews with some people you may know. I begin today with Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the famous love interest of Miss Elizabeth Bennet from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. I managed to flag him down in the streets of Baltimore a week ago Thursday and recorded the following dialog:

Me:        Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today, Mr. Darcy.

D:            (He smiles) I’ll sit down with anyone who’ll buy me one of these Caramel Macchiatos. What did you say your name was?

Me:        Tom Ulicny. I wrote The Lost Revolution.

D:            (He takes a sip gives me another smile – thinner this time) Oh yes, of course, THAT Tom Ulicny.

Me:        So how’s Elizabeth these days – I mean Mrs. Darcy. I assume you’re still together. It’s been what, about 200 years?

D:            Yes, about that, and yes, we’re still together (he sighs) – you don’t spend all that time and trouble on the courtship process only to part company after a couple of centuries. Elizabeth is doing just fine. She’s taken a fancy to bowling but is having trouble with the ball getting caught up in her skirts.

Me:        And do you bowl as well?

D:            Just a few times. Even with her skirts and all, Elizabeth is much better at it than am I. Sometimes we read together in the library at Pemberley. Yes, that’s great fun. I admit though, the place is getting a bit drab these days. That’s how you happened to catch me out here – visiting America, having a walk, getting some sun with the common-folk.

Me:        Any children?

D:            I don’t think so, no, I’m quite sure about that. (He pulls thoughtfully at his chin then looks at me brightly) I have a dog though – a Great Dane. I call him Mr. Bingley.

Me:        And how about you? What do you do for a living?

D:            Excuse me?

Me:        I assume you work? You have a job – own a business – something?

D:            I own Pemberley, my work there is a full time preoccupation. If you’ve ever seen Downton Abbey you’ll know what I mean. I love that show, at least the first season – it’s so progressive.

Me:        Do you follow American politics? What do you think of the current election cycle?

D:            I still have a hard time accepting the idea that you fellows broke off from the Empire. Aside from that, political squabbles are just a distasteful but necessary part of this democratic system of yours. I wouldn’t get too worked up over them. But really, elections every four years? - You should just elect a king and be done with it.

Me:        What do you think of the Internet?

D:            Well, it’s just a mess, isn’t it? Like a big, messy library – never know who or what you’ll run into as you turn each aisle. It can be very exciting. But if you want to meet someone in particular there are a lot of forms you have to fill out. They ask a lot of personal questions you know.

Me:        That sounds like a dating site. Do you subscribe to dating sites?

D:            (Aghast) Oh no, not me. I have a friend who does. Supposedly, that’s how most couples meet nowadays. Dating sites are wonderful things. They would have saved Elizabeth and me a lot of trouble. I don’t think Jane would have approved though.

Me:        She was pretty straight-laced.

D:            Tell me about it. (He finishes his Macchiato. His face brightens again - see photo, above, right)

Me:        I have one last question – Is there any advice you’d like to give to young people who are looking for someone to spend their lives with?

D:            Why yes, I believe I do have some guidance to give. (He ponders the matter for a moment then leans closer). When considering someone for a life companion, don’t look for perfection in them so much as for an enduring contentment within yourself. (He uses his walking stick to get to his feet. I rise too and we shake hands)

Me:        That’s sage advice indeed, Mr. Darcy. Thank you again for your time.

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